A Better Investor Presentation:
4 Tips for Creating Narrative In Data

Financial reporting decks and investor presentations are common here at SlideRabbit. The challenge our clients face is bringing these important numbers to life. In honor of Investor Day season, we wanted to highlight some tips for better investor presentations.

Using narrative storytelling makes a presentation more engaging to an audience, helping them to better understand and remember the information. But how does storytelling apply to financials? How can we create more narrative around important numbers and trends?

Here are 4 tips for bringing a narrative into your investor presentation:

Include human context

There is no data that stands alone, although it often gets presented that way.

To build context around your data, start by asking your self why the data exists. What are the circumstances and the influences that have contributed to the trends you’re pointing out? What are the big wins? The challenges?

Including context creates a story, which makes the trends easier to understand for the audience.

Consider your graph types

Remember that datasets can often be presented in different ways to support different conclusions. Are you using the right graph type to support your argument? Here are the general rules of thumb for common graph type uses:

  • Line graphs are used to best illustrate trends over time
  • Waterfalls shine a light on what fluctuations created holding differences over time
  • Pies & donuts should be used only when there is a large visible discrepancy in the data points – it is hard to distinguish the differences when the slices are too similar

Make comparisons and draw conclusions

If it is your job to report on financials, remember that those you are reporting to may not know all of the background information like you do. Share your expertise beyond the numbers and help your audience identify conclusions that may seem obvious to you.

So instead of simply reporting, be sure to explain, interpret and summarize the data.

Use strong titles

Don’t forget to use your titles! As the largest text on the slide, your titles are a perfect opportunity to help frame the data you’re sharing.

Instead of labeling your slides something like “FY21 Revenue,” use that space to tell the story you’d like your audience to take with them. Something like “2021 Revenue Exceeded Forecasts” is a lot more impactful for your audience.

Need more?

Interested in teaching your team to create a narrative from data? Ask us about our custom workshop offerings!

Or, ready to lighten your load? We’re happy to help with your investor presentation. Drop us a line!